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06 Mar 14. Afghanistan: OP HERRICK. A Sapper (i.e. Private) from the Task Force Helmand Engineer Group was fatally injured on 5 Mar 14 while preparing equipment to be moved out of Afghanistan. (MoD, 6 Mar 14.) UK deaths since the start of Operations thus rose to 448, of which 404 were due to hostile action.
The Foreign Secretary published the 34th progress report on developments in Afghanistan since November 2010. (Hansard, 28 Feb 14, Column 36 WS.)
Afghanistan’s most senior soldier, General Karimi, praised the role played by British personnel in the early success of the Officer Academy. (Soldier, March 2014.)
Teams from the Royal Engineers and the US Marine Corps assisted in the repair of a bridge near Gereshk. (Media Ops, 1 Mar 14.)
There are no female recruits within the first Kandak (or Intake) at the Afghan National Army Officer Academy.
Female recruits are to start training in Summer 2014. (Written Answer (WA), 3 Mar 14.)
Government Departments take the duty of care for our civilian personnel serving in Afghanistan extremely seriously. (Oral Answers, 4 Mar 14.)
Currently there are 105 UK Armed Forces personnel filling the role of mentors at the Afghan National Army Officer Academy. (WA, 4 Mar 14.)
The MoD does not currently have any contracts with UK-based private military security companies in Afghanistan. (WA, 5 Mar 14.)
Two Tornado GR4 from II (AC) Squadron were scrambled from Kandahar Airfield when Coalition Forces came under fire North of Shindand. (RAF, 6 Mar 14.)
Comment: The Defence Secretary, supported by the Deputy Chief of Defence Staff (Military Strategy & Operations), is due to give evidence to the Defence Committee at 14.30hrs on Wed 12 Mar 14 in the Grimand Room, Portcullis House. This is the second and final session for the Committee’s Inquiry into progress towards withdrawal of UK troops and post-2014 Involvement in Afghanistan. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 14/11, 10 Mar 14)
02 Mar 14. Ukraine: Summary of Developments. The Foreign Secretary visited Ukraine (2 Mar 14) in order to meet the new Ukrainian authorities. A joint statement condemning the Russian Federation’s violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine was issued (3 Mar 14) by the leaders of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US with the Presidents of the European Council and the European Commission.
The Foreign Secretary answered Questions about Ukraine in the House of Commons. (Hansard, 4 Mar 14.)
The Foreign Secretary made a Statement on the situation in Ukraine. (Hansard, 4 Mar 14, Column 755.) The Prime Minister spoke to the President of the US by telephone. They agreed that the EU and the US should stand united in their condemnation of Russia’s actions. (PM?s Office, 5 Mar 14.)
In Paris, Foreign Ministers from France, Germany, the UK and the US met with the Russian Foreign Minister and then with the acting Ukrainian Foreign Minister. (FCO, 5 Mar 14.)
The Ukraine was discussed during Prime Minister’s Questions. (Hansard, 5 Mar 14, Column 881.)
The US Secretary of State hosted (5 Mar 14) a meeting in Paris with the (UK) Foreign Secretary and the acting Foreign Minister of Ukraine. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the urgent question of the Budapest Memorandum, which was signed by the Governments of Russia, the UK and the US in 1994. (Under the
Memorandum, Ukraine gave up its nuclear weapons in return for assurances about its territorial integrity.)
The Prime Minister gave a Press conference after a meeting of EU Heads of State of Government to discuss Ukraine. (PM?s Office, 6 Mar 14.)
Comment: Two recent articles have been particularly helpful: the first in the Financial Times o